1 Nov 2013

1st November - All Saints - Updated

"The glorious company of the apostles praises you, the noble fellowship of the prophets praises you, the white robed army of martyrs praises you, all the saints together sing your glory, O Holy Trinity, One God"  - Magnificat Antiphon I Vespers

Today the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. During the early centuries the Saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1 as the day for commemorating all the Saints. We all have this "universal call to holiness." What must we to do in order to join the company of the saints in heaven? We "must follow in His footsteps and conform [our]selves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves with all [our] being to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).

Mass readings for today HERE.

Pope Francis reflects on the Communion of Saints at his weekly General Audience on 30 October 2013.




Pope Benedict XVI (01 Nov 2011)

"The Solemnity of All Saints is a good occasion to raise our eyes from temporal matters, which are marked by time, to the dimension of God, the dimension of eternity and sanctity",...... "Today's liturgy reminds us that sanctity is the primary vocation of all the baptised. In fact Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit is alone holy, loved the Church as His bride and gave Himself for her so as to sanctify her. For this reason, all members of the People of God are called to become saints. ... We are, then, invited to look to the Church not only in her temporal and human guise, which is tainted by fragility, but as Christ wished her to be: a 'communion of saints'. ... Today we venerate this innumerable community of All Saints who, by their different lives, show us the different ways to sanctity, sharing the single common denominator of following Christ and conforming themselves to Him, which is the final goal of our human existence".



H/t Blue Eyed Ennis for image

Second reading from Office of Readings
From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot
Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us.
 
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
 
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
 
Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.
 
When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.
 
Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.
 
Previous posts from SS102fm HERE

Blue Eyed Ennis 2013 post HERE

Quatum Theology reflection on All Saints HERE.

All Saints’ Day is a time to rejoice in all who through the ages have faithfully served the Lord. The day reminds us that we are part of one continuing, living communion of saints. It is a time to claim our kinship with the “glorious company of apostles … the noble fellowship of prophets … the white-robed army of martyrs” (Te Deum). It is a time to express our gratitude for all who in ages of darkness kept the faith, for those who have take the gospel to the ends of the earth, for prophetic voices who have called the church to be faithful in life and service, for all who have witnessed to God’s justice and peace in every nation.

To rejoice with all the faithful of every generation expands our awareness of a great company of witnesses above and around us like a cloud (Hebrews 12:1). It lifts us out of a preoccupation with our own immediate situation and the discouragements of the present. In the knowledge that others have persevered, we are encouraged to endure against all odds (Hebrews 12:1-2). Reminded that God was with the faithful of the past, we are reassured that God is with us today, moving us and all creation toward God’s end in time. - Presbyterian Companion to the Book of Common Worship

Traditional hymn taken from the Liturgy of the Hours for the feast day is "For all the Saints" and Msgr Charles Pope has a reflection on the hymn here or you could just listen and sing along.......




A Sonnet for All Saints Day

Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
 
 
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 UPDATE
 

Speaking before the recitation of the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square on Friday, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the feast of All Saints, celebrated on November 1st, reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death, but Heaven. 


The Saints the Pope said are “the friends of God,” and they assure us that his promise does not disappoint. But the Holy Father also stressed that the Saints are not supermen, nor were they perfect, they were like you and me, he said. They were, the Pope continued people who before reaching the glory of heaven and who lived a normal life, with joys and sorrows , struggles and hopes.
But what changed their lives, added Pope Francis was the knowledge of the love of God , and they spent their lives enduring suffering and adversity without hate and responding to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. The Holy Father underlined that “to be Saintly is not a privilege of a few, but a vocation for everyone. Therefore, he went on to say “we are all called to walk the path of holiness, and this pathway has a name and a face: it is Jesus Christ.
Following the Angelus prayer the Pope, in particular, prayed for the victims of violence, especially for Christians who have lost their lives because of persecution. He also remembered the many migrants, mostly women and children, who died of dehydration in the Sahara Desert recently, trying to make the crossing from Niger to Algeria in order to make a better life for themselves.
Finally, Pope Francis had greetings for all those who participated in the “Saints Race” on Friday morning, which made its way from the centre of Rome to the finish line at St Peter’s Square. The Holy Father told them that St Paul would say “that the whole life of the Christian is a "race " in order to win the prize of holiness : you runners, he added, give us a good example.

 


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